After 21 years at EPA, I’m heading to new issues and challenges at US Citizenship and Immigration Services. I’ll be the chief of the E-Communications Division, working on web and social media. My last day will be November 26, the day before Thanksgiving.
I’ve had some amazing experiences here, and a good chunk of my soul will remain connected to EPA’s mission. I spent 6 years working to protect the ozone layer, 2 in the Acid Rain Program, and the last 13 in public affairs (the last 7 1/2 heading up web/social media communications). It’s hard to sum up, but here are a few I cherish:
- All of my work on the ozone layer. During the 1995-1996 gov’t shutdown, a friend asked me why I wanted to be in government. My answer: “I’m literally helping save the world!”
- Crisis communications, which started one month into my time in public affairs when I found myself building EPA’s 9/11 response website. One particularly proud moment came in 2011, when I helped a woman via EPA’s main Facebook channel who was terrified of the radiation coming from Japan. Katrina/Rita, the BP oil spill, such rewarding work, and so many opportunities to work with many people across and outside EPA.
- Helping lead EPA’s web efforts and also across government, including chairing the Federal Web Managers Council for two years. It’s been a fun, challenging, and ultimately very satisfying ride. I still remember the first time we coordinated a home page post with a speech and news release. I marvel that now we routinely coordinate up to a dozen online channels for an announcement.
I’ve been incredibly lucky in my life, both personally and professionally, and knowing so many wonderful people, both at EPA and at many other agencies, is one important reason I feel so fortunate.
It’s a cliché to say you’re amazed by the people you work with, but I’m at a loss for how to say it differently. Americans have no clue how lucky they are to have the folks here working for them.
Here’s to many more years of working to make government’s online presence more useful and helpful!